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Genetic Test Disclosure | BRCA Study August 17, 2007

Posted by ramunas in BRCA, breast cancer, cancer genetics, genetic testing, hereditary cancer.
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Generally, principles of predictive testing for cancer predisposition are the same as for the adult-onset diseases. Therefore it is not allowed to test children till the age of 18 in most countries because of the lack of effective preventative interventions at a young age. Such an early knowledge could result in unnecessary anxiety and worries. Notable exceptions are MEN 2 (A and B) syndrome, Von-Hippel-Lindau syndrome and familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), also other rare early tumor predisposition syndromes, when there is high risk of cancer in an early ages and preventative measures are effective even at early childhood (e.g. for MEN2A thyroidectomy is advised till the age of 5 years and as young as 2 years for MEN2B, because metastases has been reported. (source))

However, a new study in the forthcoming Aug. 20 Journal of Clinical Oncology about parental communication of BRCA results to children under the age of 25 years old, reveals that more than half of the parents told their children about their genetic test results.

“Some parents reported that their children didn’t seem to understand the significance of the information shared, and that some had initial negative reactions. Further research is needed to understand the impact of this communication on these children in order to provide optimal counseling for families with a genetic risk of cancer” said the study’s author, Angela Bradbury, M.D., director of Fox Chase Cancer Center’s Family Risk Assessment Program.

This study probably rely on published data from previous presentations.

More about patients attitudes towards positive BRCA genetic test result read in EyeOnDNA recent post, where around half women in a BRCA+ group had taken no preventive action.

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